This article revives an accentuation of
ιαται in Mark 5:29
Critical editions of the Greek New Testament (GNT), like the NA28, provide accents not present in our earliest manuscripts. In our earliest witnesses of Mark, such as Codex Sinaiticus (01) or Codex Vaticanus (03), scribes only included the letters
To my knowledge, the only edition of the GNT that accents
Rather than presenting
As the minuscules used by Erasmus testify, Vaticanus is not alone. The 9th century minuscule 33 (
There is further evidence that points toward the present tense-form as the intended meaning. Other than the instance in Mark 5:29 the only other time the perfect indicative third person singular of
3 Mark’s Use of the Present Tense-Form in Indirect Internal Discourse
It is not clear to me why interpreters in the past, represented by Metzger’s comment above, argue that the form of
A stylistic tendency of Mark is to introduce indirect internal discourse by using a particular pattern: (a) the use of a verb of knowledge or cognition (e.g.
In particular, the parallels between Mark 5:29 and Mark 2:8 are striking:
Both passages share additional features with one another, such as the inclusion of the
Our reading of the
As Hugh Houghton has cautioned, there is not a direct correspondence between Latin and Greek tenses and that “the tense of verbs often fluctuates in the Latin tradition regardless of the Greek Vorlage.”16 Nevertheless, the consistency with which the tenses of the passages above in a b and i match to the corresponding Greek tense-forms in Mark suggests that their translation is not by chance.
The one passage in these Old Latin witnesses that does not reflect the present tense is Mark 2:8; all three (a b i) in addition to the Vulgate render
There is another explanation simply rooted in Greek original itself. The Latin witnesses a b and i show a tendency to smooth out the awkward presentation of the action in Mark 2:8. In the initial Greek text, the four main verbs skew the temporality of the action:
This versional evidence along with the rarity of the perfect in our extant literature, as well as the various manuscripts which attest to readings of the present, leans in favour that the present tense-form reading fits Mark’s literary context best. We should no longer read
4 Grammatical Subject, Agency, and the Present Tense-Form of
Understanding of the Greek verbal voice has undergone much clarification over the past century. The shift from an understanding of Greek as an active/passive voice system to an active/middle voice system has altered how we think about what is often taught as vocally sealed morphological systems (e.g. -(
In all of these examples the grammatical subject of
Alternatively, perhaps the subject of
There is, however, a single extant use of
Interpreters of the Hebrew have dealt with the awkwardness of the syntax here by translating the passage with subject and object reversed: “The scale-diseased person has been healed of scale disease.”23 The OG translator(s) of Lev 14:3 have rigidly rendered the awkwardness of the Hebrew into the Greek, from the reversal of the expected subject and object to the odd prepositional phrase beginning with
Turning to the material evidence, an early witness of Mark 5:29, the 5th century Codex Washingtonianus (032), understood
Looking to the grammatical subject of the verb may help us clarify the verb’s semantics in this instance. What then is the grammatical subject of
On the other hand, an even simpler answer is that the grammatical subject of
Either way however, the verb
This short article has argued that there is sufficient evidence for reading
One should be cautious to merely accept the accentuation of critical editions ex facie, especially given our present digital access to so many of the manuscript witnesses, e.g. via the INTF’s New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room (NTVMR).25 To an uninformed reader, critical editions of the NT can present artificial discrepancies.26 The way our critical editions of the NT present artificially the text of our earliest witnesses is evident not only in what they exclude (e.g. scriptio continua) but what features they do include, such as accentuation. In this way NT critical editions can function much like the Masoretic vocalisation of the Hebrew Bible. The Masoretic vocalisation is one way of understanding the unvocalised text. But, as ancient translations of the HB show, such as the OG, the unvocalised text could be understood in many different ways. In the same way that it has been argued that the Greek translation of the Pentateuch argues against a monolithic fixed community vocalisation of the unvocalised Hebrew text, the varying ways in which
In order to provide more manuscript transparency, critical editions of the NT could leave words unaccented and show different accenting possibilities. For example,
ἴαται07 09 013 028 037 399 566 892 1424 2811 l 63 l 848 l 849 ¦ ἰᾶταιBs 1 3 4 5 23 26 34 39 etc.
Indeed, in preparations for the ECM of the Apocalypse, scholars are taking into account variant accentuation in the manuscripts, hopefully to be included in the apparatus itself.28 Providing this resource in critical editions will allow users to make informed judgments for themselves on variant accentuation without having to laboriously scour through all the extant material evidence.
I would like to express my gratitude to Garrick Allen, Ian Mills, and Alex Kirk for their insightful comments on this article, as well as Anne Boud’hors who generously gave me access to images of P.Palau 182 as well as a provisory edition of Mark 5 from the forthcoming Marc Multilingue project.
A. Yarbro Collins, Mark: A Commentary (Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2007) 274, 282; R.A. Guelich, Mark 1–8:26 (WBC 34A; Dallas: Word Books, 1989) 297; M.D. Hooker, The Gospel according to Saint Mark (BNTC; London: Continuum, 1991) 148; R.T. France, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text (NIGNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002) 237; J. Marcus, Mark 1–8 (AB 27 NF; New Haven: Yale University, 2000) 368; C.S. Mann, Mark: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 27; New York: Doubleday, 1986) 285; B.M.F. van Iersel, Mark: A Reader-Response Commentary (JSNTSup 164; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998) 205–206; R. Pesch, Das Markusevangelium (HThKNT; Freiburg: Herder, 1976) 303; C. Focant, L’évangile selon Marc (Commentaire biblique: Nouveau Testament; Paris: Cerf, 2004) 216; J. Gnilka, Das Evangelium nach Markus (EKKNT 2/1; Zurich: Benziger, 1978) 215; R.H. Gundry, Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000) 270; É. Trocmé, L’évangile selon saint Marc (CNT 2; Geneva: Labor et Fides, 2000) 151; E. Schweizer, The Good News according to Mark (London: SPCK, 1970) 117; E. Lohmeyer, Das Evangelium des Markus (11th ed.; KEK; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1951) 102 n. 5; W. Grundmann, Das Evangelium nach Markus (THKNT; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1989) 115; J.R. Donahue and D.J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark (SP; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002) 175; W.L. Lane, The Gospel of Mark (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974) 191–192.
E.J. Epp, “Textual Criticism in the Exegesis of the New Testament, with an Excursus on Canon,” in A Handbook to the Exegesis of the New Testament (ed. S.E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997) 49.
J.J. Griesbach, Novum Testamentum Graece, vol. 1: IV Evangelia Complectens (Halle: Curtius, 1775) 174; H.F. von Soden, Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1913) 146; C. von Tischendorf, Novum Testamentum Graece (Leipzig: Giesecke & Devrient, 1859) 146; S.P. Tregelles, The Greek New Testament (London: Bagster & Sons, 1879) 143; G.J.A. Hort and B.F. Wescott, The New Testament in the Original Greek (Cambridge: Macmillan, 1881) 82; F.C. Alter, Novum Testamentum (Vienna: von Trattnern, 1787) 105; J.A. Bengel, Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ: Novum Testamentum Graecum (Tübingen: Cotta, 1734) 58; M.A. Robinson and W.G. Pierpont, eds., The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform (Southborough, MA: Chilton Book Publishing, 2005) 113.
Although some critical additions included the present tense-form reading in their critical apparatus, e.g. Bengel, Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ, 502; Alter, Novum Testamentum, 565; Griesbach, Novum Testamentum Graece, 174.
On the argument against Erasmus’ consultation of 1 in favour of 817, see J.H. Bentley, Humanists and Holy Writ: New Testament Scholarship in the Renaissance (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983) 130–132.
On the use of 3 in his second edition, see C.R. Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testamentes (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1900) 128. If he had consulted Codex Basilensis (07), however, and noted the perfect tense-form accentuation scratched into the manuscript, it may have given him pause about whether his reading was correct. On the use of 07 by Erasmus, see Bentley, Humanists, 129. Cf. the tentative remarks of C.C. Tarelli, “Erasmus’s Manuscripts of the Gospels,” JTS 44 (1943) 159–160; id., “Erasmus’s Manuscripts of the Gospels,” JTS 48 (1947) 207–209.
B.M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994) 323 (emphasis mine); H.J. Cadbury, “A Possible Perfect in Acts ix.34,” JTS 49 (1948) 57–58. This reading is also found elsewhere in Codex Bezae (05) and Codex Corodethianus (038). A few MSS attest
J.W. Voelz, “The Greek of Codex Vaticanus in the Second Gospel and Marcan Greek,” NovT 47 (2005) 211 n. 9; G.S. Paulson, Scribal Habits in Codex Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Ephraemi, Bezae, and Washingtonianus in the Gospel of Matthew (GlossaHouse Dissertation Series; Wilmore, KY: GlossaHouse, 2018) 46.
B.M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1964) 47; P.B. Payne and P. Canart, “The Originality of Text-Critical Symbols in Codex Vaticanus,” NovT 42 (2000) 105 nn. 2–3.
See Vat.gr. 1209, leaf 1284.
This is based on a limited analysis of the many minuscules and is not meant to be an exhaustive list of witnesses. In minuscule 34, a circumflex has faded or been erased from over the alpha in
Unfortunately, the original manuscripts for this passage have not yet been digitised and are therefore not available to me. I am reliant upon E. Klostermann, ed., Origenes Werke, vol. 3: Jeremiahomilien (GCS 6; Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1983) 31.
e.g. C.E.B. Cranfield, The Gospel according to Saint Mark (CGTC; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959) 184; V. Taylor, The Gospel according to St. Mark (2nd ed.; London: MacMillan & Co., 1966) 291; Mann, Mark, 285.
The Syriac tradition is not fruitful for our analysis here. Mark 5:29 is unfortunately missing from the so-called Old Syriac versions we have, the fourth-century Sinai palimpsest (syrs = Sinai syr. 30), the fifth-century Curetonian gospel manuscript (syrc = BL Ass MS 14,451 + Berlin syr. 8 + Deir al-Surian syr. Frag. 9), and the recently discovered manuscripts from St. Catherine’s Monastery (Sinai syr. nf 37 +39). The Peshitta (syrp) of Mark 5:29 renders
Based on the critical text of the Vetus Latina by A. Jülicher, ed., Itala: Das neue Testament in altlateinischer Überlieferung, vol. 2: Marcus-Evangelium (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1970) 42. The majority of other witnesses read an expression with a third-person singular imperfect active subjunctive verb, sanata/sana esset (“she was healthy,” aur d f l q r1 vg).
H.A.G. Houghton, The Latin New Testament: A Guide to its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) 147–148.
See R. Aubrey, “Motivated Categories, Middle Voice, and Passive Morphology,” in The Greek Verb Revisited (ed. S.E. Runge and C.J. Fresch; Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016) 563–625.
Aubrey, “Categories,” 620.
In the narrative the woman reaches out and touches Jesus, removing power without his control or consent. Additionally, Jesus admits the reflexivity of the woman’s own action in 5:32—that her faith had healed her (
Text found in S.P. Lampros, ed., Supplementum Aristotelicum, vol. 1/1: Excerptorum Constantini de natura animalium libri duo: Aristophanis historiae animalium epitome (Berlin: Reimer, 1885) 115.
Jesus is clearly not the intended subject of the verb
This connection between Lev 14:3 and Mark 5:29 was noted by Pesch, Markusevangelium, 303. The aorist tense-form of
e.g. J. Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 3; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991) 832. Milgrom offers an alternative: “The scale disease has disappeared from the scale-diseased person.”
This may be an assimilation with the version of the story in Luke 8:47:
See M. Karrer, “Scriptural Quotations in the Jesus Tradition and Early Christianity: Textual History and Theology,” in Ancient Readers and Their Scriptures: Engaging the Hebrew Bible in Early Judaism and Christianity (ed. G.V. Allen and J.A. Dunne; Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 107; Leiden: Brill, 2019) 100.
On the Septuagint and its relationship to a fixed oral understanding of an unvocalised Hebrew Pentateuch, see S. Schorch, “The Septuagint and the Vocalization of the Hebrew Text of the Torah,” in XII Congress of the International Organisation for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, Leiden 2004 (ed. M.K.H. Peters; SCS 54; Leiden: Brill, 2006) 41–54.
See U. Schmid and M. Karrer, “Die neue Edition der Johannesapokalypse: Ein Arbeitsbericht,” in Studien zum Text der Apokalypse (ed. M. Sigismund, M. Karrer, and U. Schmid; ANTF 47; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2015) 14; U. Schmid and M. Karrer, “Zur elektronischen Transkription von Apokalypsehandschriften: Bericht zum Arbeitsstand,” in Studien zum Text der Apokalypse, vol. 2 (ed. M. Sigismund, D. Müller, and M. Geigenfeind; ANTF 50; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017) 27.